There’s something reassuring about the Masters.
No matter what else is going on in the world, sports fans know that the world’s top golfers will be gathering at the same time and in the same place to play for the same annual prize: a green jacket that simply would not work in any social situation held outside the grounds of Augusta National. We know Jim Nantz will say “Hello, friends” and that we’ll hear more gentle guitar-piano murmurings in those four April days than we will in the year’s other 361 days combined.
This carries over to the Masters betting market. Because the Masters is played on the same course every year and because the chances for volatility are reduced because of the tournament’s comparatively small field size, we have a good idea of what the Masters champion will look like. Sure, every once in a while you’ll get a surprise winner such as 60-to-1 long shot Danny Willett in 2016 or 40-to-1 Hideki Matsuyama in 2021, but most Masters winners tend to follow the same criteria: They have good history at Augusta National, good form entering the tournament and good standing in certain key metrics.
We’ll start by eliminating who can’t win the tournament.
What to know about the 2023 Masters field, tee times, Tiger watch and more
All odds taken Tuesday afternoon from DraftKings Sportsbook.
According to Datagolf, course history is far more predictive at Augusta National than at any other course in the PGA Tour rotation. Eight of the past 13 and 12 of the past 18 Masters winners had either a previous green jacket or a top-10 Masters finish on his résumé.
There are only six former Masters champions in this year’s field who, in my eyes, have a viable shot at victory: Scottie Scheffler, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth. Among the players with previous top 10s: Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, Shane Lowry, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Cameron Smith, Will Zalatoris, Sungjae Im, Cameron Champ, Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay and Corey Conners. All of these players will receive at least some consideration for now.
As for other past winners in the field, they’re either in middling form or simply past their competitive primes. I’m crossing the following former Masters champions off my list of potential winners: Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Danny Willett, Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson, Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize, José María Olazábal, Charl Schwartzel, Vijay Singh and Mike Weir. So that’s 14 golfers we can eliminate right off the top.
The Masters rookies
Only three players have won the Masters in their first appearance at the tournament, the last being Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. If a Masters rookie wins this year, good for him, but I’m crossing all of this year’s first-timers off my list: Taylor Moore, Ryan Fox, Kazuki Higa, Tom Kim, Kurt Kitayama, Adrian Meronk, Mito Pereira, Adam Svensson and Sahith Theegala. There’s nine more players you don’t have to consider.
No amateur ever has won the Masters, and there are seven in this year’s field. Cross them all off: Sam Bennett, Ben Carr, Harrison Crowe, Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira, Matthew McClean, Aldrich Potgieter and Gordon Sargent.
Rank and file
Of the past 23 Masters winners, 16 entered the tournament ranked in the top 12 of the Official World Golf Ranking, and 21 were ranked in the top 30 (including the past 10 champions). In other words, we’re not looking below No. 30 on the OWGR. This eliminates players such as Koepka (118th) and Champ (201st).
Current form is key
Of the past 12 Masters champions, only Matsuyama did not have at least two top-12 stroke-play finishes in the calendar year of the tournament, either on the PGA Tour or the European Tour. The following golfers aren’t in top form right now and are off my list: Abraham Ancer, Bryson DeChambeau, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Talor Gooch, Brian Harman, Russell Henley, Billy Horschel, Mackenzie Hughes, Dustin Johnson, Si Woo Kim, Kevin Kisner, Jason Kokrak, K.H. Lee, Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren, Louis Oosthuizen, Seamus Power, Adam Scott, Scott Stallings, Sepp Straka, Harold Varner III, Aaron Wise and Gary Woodland.
Par-4 play is crucial
Of the past 10 Masters champions, eight ranked first, second or third in the field in par-4 scoring. And eight of the past 11 winners entered the tournament ranked 11th or better in the PGA Tour’s par-4 birdie-or-better statistic. So I’m crossing off the following golfers who haven’t been strong on par 4s of late: Sam Burns, Harris English, Tyrrell Hatton, Hideki Matsuyama, J.T. Poston, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris.
So there you have it, a field of 88 narrowed down to just a handful of golfers who can win. Of that group, here’s who I like the most.
Scottie Scheffler (+650)
Only three golfers have repeated as Masters champion, but the world No. 1 again enters the tournament in sizzling form, winning two of his past five tournaments and finishing no worse than 12th in the three others. (Last year, he had won three of his five tournaments heading into the Masters.) Strong iron play is traditionally a hallmark of a Masters champion, and the past eight leaders in approach at the Masters finished first, first, second, third, first, first, eighth and 14th at that year’s tournament (that latter number would be Kevin Na last year, but third-place finisher Cameron Smith ranked second in approach for the week and Scheffler was sixth). Scheffler enters this year’s tournament ranked seventh in strokes gained: approach on the PGA Tour, and he hasn’t lost strokes in that category since last August at the St. Jude. If anyone is going to repeat as Masters champion for the first time since Tiger Woods in 2002, it very well might be Scheffler. It’s impossible to cross him off, even as defending champion.
— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) March 28, 2023
Scheffler from Jan 1-April 1 of 2022: 2.50 SG/round
Scheffler from Jan 1-April 1 of 2023: 3.05 SG/round
Playing two strokes per tournament better this year than he was last year when he won three times and then won the Masters. 😳
Jon Rahm (+850)
While he has never truly been in the mix on Sunday at Augusta, Rahm also has never missed the cut in six Masters appearances and had four straight top-10 finishes before his tie for 27th last year. The world’s third-ranked player enters this year’s tournament with three wins since January, a No. 5 ranking in strokes gained: approach, a No. 3 ranking in par-4 birdie-or-better percentage and a No. 6 ranking in par-4 scoring.
Jordan Spieth (+1600)
Spieth missed the cut for the first time in nine Augusta trips last year, but he immediately followed it up with a win at the Heritage the very next week and then a second-place finish at the Byron Nelson in the start that followed. That seemed to kick-start things for the 2015 Masters champion, who also has two second-place finishes and two thirds on his Augusta résumé. This season, Spieth has top-six finishes in three of his past six starts, gaining strokes on approach in all six.
Patrick Cantlay (+1600)
Cantlay has won eight times as a top-level professional, including the 2021 FedEx Cup, and he is ranked No. 4 in the world. The only hole on his résumé is his performance at majors, which has been thoroughly underwhelming: Cantlay has more missed cuts (four) than top 10s (three) in 23 appearances. But one of those top 10s was a ninth-place finish at the 2019 Masters, so his Augusta record isn’t totally barren, and he has top 10s in three of his past four tournaments this season. Oh, and he also leads the PGA Tour in par-4 birdies or better and par-4 scoring average.
Tony Finau (+2000)
Finau has a top-10 finish in three of his five Masters appearances and turned on the jets during the latter half of 2022 and into 2023, with three wins and five other top-10 finishes since late July. He gains strokes with his irons in just about every tournament he plays and ranks fourth in strokes gained: approach while also ranking sixth in par-4 scoring.
Cam Smith (+2200)
It’s almost impossible to gauge the form of any LIV golfer, because the breakaway league has staged only three small-field, no-cut tournaments in 2023, and only one of them was won by a player who will be at Augusta this week (Koepka won this past weekend’s LIV tournament in Florida). Smith won the most recent major championship at the British Open before announcing his departure to LIV, and his Masters track record cannot be denied: The Australian comes in with top-1o finishes in four of his past five appearances and top-five finishes in three of them.
Max Homa (+2800)
Ranked fifth in the world, Homa doesn’t have the most distinguished Masters track record, with two missed cuts and a tie for 48th in three appearances. His results at the other majors are far from great as well. And the Californian might be more of a look for the U.S. Open, which will be played at Los Angeles Country Club, where he owns the course record. But Homa has two wins, four other top 10s and zero missed cuts since September, and he is in the top 10 in the key approach and par-4 metrics.
Tom Hoge (+10000)
The world’s No. 26 golfer has played in only one Masters, last year’s tie for 39th. But Scheffler didn’t have any Masters top 10s before last year’s win, either, with only a T-19 and a T-18 on his Augusta résumé before his 2022 victory. There’s a lot to like about Hoge, who leads the tour in strokes gained: approach and is in the top 10 in par-4 birdie or better and par-4 scoring. Hoge finished third in his last stroke-play event, the elite-field Players Championship. He is worth a look down the odds board, and I’d much rather take a swing at him than some bigger names with shorter odds such as Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia or just about any of the LIV golfers apart from Smith and maybe Koepka.
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In 1968 Augusta National Golf Club witnessed one of the saddest episodes in the Masters history when, but for a wrong number signed on a scorecard, Roberto de Vicenzo might have won. But to remember him solely for this is to do the Argentinian a great disservice…Who skipped the ball across the water at the Masters? ›
Lee Trevino or Seve Ballesteros
Some Masters old-timers swear they saw (or heard about) Trevino skipping balls across the pond at the 16th hole in the early to mid-1980s. And Trevino himself has confirmed that.
(WRDW/WAGT) - Winning at the Masters is hard. Only 55 people have ever done it. Winning it more than once is even harder. Only 17 people have done that.Who has won the Masters more than anyone? ›
Jack Nicklaus, nicknamed “The Golden Bear”, won six Masters Tournaments, the highest number to date.Did Jack Nicklaus ever miss the cut at the Masters? ›
12. In his 50s, Nicklaus made nine starts in the Masters and missed the cut only once. Twice he finished sixth, and he finished no worse than T-42 in his other six trips to Augusta as a senior.Who has the worst score at the Masters? ›
Link Copied! The lowest score for a winner in Masters history is 20-under par. Dustin Johnson shot a final-round 68 in 2020 to break Tiger Woods' record of 18-under in the 1997 tournament.Has anyone ever made a hole-in-one at the Masters? ›
Holes-in-one at the Masters
Only five amateurs have sunk aces at the Masters: Ross Somerville at the 16th in 1934; Ray Billows at the 16th in 1940; John Dawson at the 16th in 1949; Billy Joe Patton at the sixth in 1954; and William Hyndman at the 12th in 1959.
Masters 2022: Jason Day, Rickie Fowler fail to qualify for Augusta | Golf News and Tour Information | Golf Digest.Who shot the lowest final round at the Masters? ›
|Low Final 36 Holes|
|134 (67-67)||Dan Pohl||1982|
Caddies are paid anywhere from $1500 to $3000 at the Masters. Pay rates vary as they are determined by negotiations between a professional golfer and their caddie. This is the case not only at the Masters but at all PGA tournaments. Caddie's pay generally falls in the range of $1500 to $3000 per tournament.
Has any player ever won back-to-back Masters? Yes, three players have defended their titles at the Masters, Jack Nicklaus (1965-1966), Nick Faldo (1989-1990) and Tiger Woods (2001-2002).Who has the most runner up finishes at the Masters? ›
Of the three golfers who share The Masters record of four second-place finishes, Weiskopf is the one who never won the tournament. He did win the 1973 British Open and 16 total PGA Tour titles, but his best showings in The Masters were runners-up in 1969, 1972, 1974 and 1975.
Yes, LIV golfers can play in the Masters. While they are barred from PGA Tour events, the Masters is a major and not a PGA Tour event.Can LIV golfers play in majors? ›
LIV golfers in the majors. Fortunately for Greg Norman's men, LIV golfers are allowed to play in this year's four biggest tournaments – especially after the R&A made the first move and made it clear the Open won't be abandoning 150 years of history by making such a drastic move.What is the biggest comeback in the Masters? ›
Jack Burke, Jr., authored the biggest comeback by a winner, eight back through 54 holes before coming back to win in 1956. Gary Player came back to win from seven strokes behind in 1978, and Nick Faldo was six back when he came all the way back to prevail over a faltering Greg Norman in 1996.How long was Jack Nicklaus number 1 in the world? ›
Before the start of the OWGR in 1986, world golf rankings were published in Mark McCormack's World of Professional Golf Annual from 1968 to 1985. These end-of-year rankings had Jack Nicklaus as the number one from 1968 to 1977, Tom Watson from 1978 to 1982 and Seve Ballesteros from 1983 to 1985.How many hole in ones does Jack Nicklaus have? ›
So Nicklaus did not win any of the tournaments in which he aced, and only one of his 21 career aces happened in a major — none in a "regular" (meaning not senior) major. But Nicklaus did score holes-in-ones twice during practice rounds prior to major championships.What is the best round of the Masters history? ›
Jack Nicklaus, 1986
Considered by many the best final round in Masters history. It's certainly one of the most replayed.
Since the tournament began in 1934, there have only been three rookies to win the Masters, although some others have come close…
There are many different records that can be broken at the Masters each year when the players take the green, and one of the most desirable ones is to have the lowest score across 72 holes. That record currently belongs to Dustin Johnson and it is one that he achieved fairly recently.Has there ever been a hole-in-one on 12 at Augusta? ›
Sepp Straka made a memory for a lifetime on Monday at Augusta National with a hole-in-one on the iconic par 3 12th hole at the Masters venue. The 12th, known as Golden Bell, is one of the most famous golf holes in the world, with the beautiful par 3 playing over the iconic Rae's Creek in the heart of Amen Corner.What is the first hole called in the Masters? ›
The Masters: Hole #1 Tea Olive. The first is a slight dogleg right that plays uphill. Drives to the left may catch the trees. The hole requires a precise second shot to an undulating green.What is the hardest Masters hole? ›
Jordan Spieth hits his tee shot on the 12th hole during the third round of the Masters tournament on Sunday, April 9, 2023 at Augusta National Golf Club. How it played: Augusta National's shortest hole turned out to be the Masters' toughest hole in the final round.Why is Phil missing the Masters? ›
Mickelson's absence follows his comments on Saudi Arabia and the PGA. Mickelson has withdrawn from the public eye since Feb. 22, when he issued statements via Instagram and Twitter apologizing for controversial comments he made about the PGA and Saudi Arabia and saying that he needed "some time away."Did Rickie Fowler get invited to the Masters? ›
Is Rickie Fowler invited to the Masters? Rickie Fowler missed the 2022 Masters, but he can still qualify to play in April. Though Fowler was 71st on the Official World Golf Ranking going in last week's Players Championship, a T-13 finish propelled him to the No. 59 spot.Who was the guy disqualified from the Masters? ›
Hideki Matsuyama was disqualified from the Memorial Tournament for markings on his three-wood during Thursday's first round. The 2021 Masters Champion was told after finishing the ninth hole that his equipment was in breach of PGA Tour regulations.Who was the youngest to win the Masters? ›
That honour belongs to Tiger Woods, who blew away the field in 1997 to win by 12 shots over Tom Kite aged just 21 years, three months and 14 days. One other player has come close to beating Woods' tender age to win the tournament since that occasion.Has anyone shot 4 rounds in the 60s at the Masters? ›
Since the first time it was played in 1934, over 6,600 golfers teed it up and more than 4,200 of them have played all four rounds of the tournament. Not one of them, however, had shot four rounds in the 60s in one Masters until Cameron Smith did it—and he didn't even win the tournament (Dustin Johnson did).Has Tiger Woods ever missed the Masters? ›
Has Tiger Woods ever missed the cut in the Masters Tournament? Woods has missed the cut at the Masters just once, and it was when he was still an amateur. Playing in his second Masters, a 20-year-old Woods missed the cut in 1996 after shooting +6.
They can go anywhere from just earning their base rate if the player misses the cut to between an additional $1,000 for an average last-place finish and $164,000 for a win (even more for higher-profile events). So how a golfer performs greatly impacts a caddie's weekly salary.Do caddies pay their own expenses? ›
Minister: In 99 percent of caddie cases, we pay all of our expenses. On a normal week, we have to fly to the event, get to the airport and rent a car. We stay in hotels or rented condos/ homes. We have daily meals and we normally pay for two of them.How much did Jordan Spieth make at the Masters? ›
In those instances, the Masters Chairman helped Faldo and Woods into their green jackets. Green jackets are kept on club grounds and taking them off the premises is forbidden. There is an exception: The Masters champion can take the jacket home and return it to the club at the next Masters.How much is a Masters green jacket worth? ›
How much is a green jacket worth? A lot more than $250. A company formerly called Green Jacket Auctions sold the green jacket that belonged to Horton Smith, winner of the first Masters in 1934, for $682,229.Has anyone ever 4 putted to win the Masters? ›
Scottie Scheffler can laugh about it now. Well, actually, he laughed about it then, too, when he was in the moment and it happened at Augusta National on Masters Sunday. You probably know the story. Scheffler came to the 72nd hole with a five-shot lead and four-putted the 18th green for a double-bogey 6.Who is better Tiger or Jack? ›
Woods has played in eight Ryder Cups and boasts a 13-21-3 record. Nicklaus has played in six, with a 17–8–3 record. Nicklaus is 1-1 as a U.S. captain in the Ryder Cup and 2-1-1 leading the Americans in the Presidents Cup.Who was Jack Nicklaus biggest competitor? ›
During the best part of Jack Nicklaus' career, his main competitors were Tom Watson, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, and Billy Casper.Who has more records Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus? ›
Woods has 82 victories in his career and Nicklaus 72, a considerable difference, but by itself not definitive when looking at the other finishes. Nicklaus had 57 runner-up finishes in his career and 269 top-10s while Woods had 31 runner-up finishes, or 26 behind Nicklaus, and 199 top-10s, 60 less than the Golden Bear.Will Augusta let LIV players play? ›
August National Golf Club and Masters Tournament Chairman Fred Ridley extended invitations to 17 LIV golfers. "We will invite those eligible under our current criteria to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament," Ridley said in a statement, via The Palm Beach Post.
LIV Golf (/lɪv/) is a professional golf tour. The name "LIV" refers to the Roman numerals for 54, the score if every hole on a par-72 course were birdied and the number of holes to be played at LIV events. The first LIV Golf Invitational Series event started on 9 June 2022, at the Centurion Club near London, England.How many LIV golfers will qualify for the Masters? ›
As the current criteria stands, 18 golfers will receive invitations to play in the tournament through six different qualification standards.Why can LIV golfers play majors? ›
LIV Golf stars have scored a significant victory in their rebellion against the PGA Tour. LIV Golf players will be eligible to compete in all four major tournaments this season after the PGA of America issued its 2023 eligibility requirements Wednesday, providing a green light.How much did Brooks Koepka get from LIV? ›
How Much Did Brooks Koepka Make From LIV Golf in prize money in 2022? Through the course of the 2022 LIV season, Brooks Koepka earned $8,276,100 in prize money on the LIV circuit.Will the LIV tour survive? ›
Economist, professor and author Steve Levitt said LIV Golf “will not survive 'more than a couple of years. '” Levitt, who had LIV CEO & Commissioner Greg Norman on his podcast recently, discussed serval topics regarding the league.What is the greatest comeback in golf history? ›
1999 Open Championship - 10 shots
The Scot fired a magnificent final round of 67 but Van de Velde came to the final hole needing a six to win. He took seven blows to finish level with Lawrie and American Justin Leonard. Lawrie won the four-hole playoff to complete the greatest comeback the game has ever seen.
- Greg Norman, 1996. Norman led after each of the first three rounds, but his second-nine collapse was one for the ages. ...
- Ed Sneed, 1979. ...
- Ken Venturi, 1956. ...
- Rory McIlroy, 2011. ...
- Jordan Spieth, 2016.
A statement from The Masters said: "Due to injury, Tiger Woods has officially withdrawn from the Masters Tournament after completing seven holes of his third round." After dropping out, Woods tweeted: "I am disappointed to have to WD this morning due to reaggravating my plantar fasciitis.How did Greg Norman lose the Masters? ›
On April 14, 1996, third-round leader Greg Norman loses a six-shot lead in the final round of the Masters golf tournament and finishes second—one of the worst collapses in sports history. Nick Faldo wins the green jacket, finishing five strokes ahead of Norman.Which golfer signed a wrong scorecard? ›
1968 Masters Tournament.
|Length||6,980 yards (6,383 m)|
|Field||74 players, 52 after cut|
AUGUSTA, Georgia, April 8 (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy's bid for a career Grand Slam officially came to an end for another year on Saturday when the Northern Irishman failed to make the Masters cut.What is a choker in golf? ›
A Choker Tournament is a golf format for three- or four-person teams in which one person per team, on every hole, is put on the spot: come up with a decent score, or choke and hurt your team's chances.What is the biggest blown lead in PGA history? ›
The record is six strokes, and it is shared by nine golfers. Nine times a golfer in a PGA Tour event held a 6-stroke lead following 54 holes of play, but wound up losing. It happened the first time in 1928 and most recently in 2023, and it has happened to some very good golfers.What's the biggest comeback in Masters history? ›
Jack Burke Jr - 1956 (eight strokes)
Burke was one of only two players to shoot an under-par round on the final day as the American mounted the biggest final-round comeback in major history.
Rickie Fowler: He's definitely the biggest name on the list, but like Cink and Simpson, Fowler is not in jeopardy of losing his PGA Tour card. His win at the 2019 Phoenix Open secured his card through the end of next year, and even after that he will have plenty of lifetime exemptions to use to stay on Tour.Who is the boy banned from playing golf? ›
Luc Esquivel, a 14-year-old rising sophomore who lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, just wants to play golf, but he's banned from competing on the boys' golf team at his high school.Who is the bad boy of professional golf? ›
Daly is known as the "bad boy of golf," and he is a controversial figure in the sports world. According to Above The Line, the film will cover "the excesses, scandals, and athletic achievements" of Daly throughout his career.Why was Wolf disqualified from the Masters? ›
However, Wolff had written down a score that was lower than he'd actually made at the 17th hole. Subsequently, he broke Rule 3.3b(3). Rule 3.3b means that each hole score on the scorecard must be identifiable to the correct hole.Why doesn t the Masters allow phones? ›
Payne then explained the policy. "I just don't think it is appropriate," Payne said. "The noise is an irritation to not only the players, the dialing, the conversation; it's a distraction. And that's the way we have chosen to deal with it."Who choked at the Masters? ›
LIV Golf loses, Spain's Jon Rahm and America win as American Brooks Koepka chokes away the Masters.
However, there are a few official PGA Tour events in which players get paid even if they miss the cut. At the Masters, the players who miss the 36-hole cut are paid.Who has the longest streak making cut at the Masters? ›
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Tiger Woods can thank good friend Justin Thomas for helping to extend his streak of consecutive cuts made at the Masters to a record-tying 23 on Saturday.Who is the oldest to make the Masters cut? ›
Fred Couples, 63, becomes oldest to make Masters cut - PGA TOUR.